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New Edible Playgrounds

Four schools get the go ahead for new Edible Playgrounds

Children from four more schools will get the opportunity to get growing next year, thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery. Meridian High School and Fairchildes Primary School in Croydon, The Palmer Academy in Reading and Baguley Hall Primary School in Manchester will each get an Edible Playground.

Healthy living project Edible Playgrounds is a joint initiative between Trees for Cities, School Food Matters and Chefs Adopt a School. The project was awarded £249,180 as part of the 2015 Dream Fund.

Edible Playgrounds transform areas in school grounds into vibrant outdoor spaces that excite and teach children about growing and eating healthy food. By instilling healthy eating habits at an early age, they help tackle obesity, food poverty and lack of access to nature head on, and provide a platform for fun and engaging lessons that support the school curriculum.

The Edible Playgrounds will be designed specifically for each school, but most will include raised beds for growing salads, root vegetables, brassicas, soft fruits and herbs, as well as fruit trees, a greenhouse and a composting area. Pupils and teachers will enjoy planting and harvesting workshops to get them started, and the school and the teachers are encouraged to take their lessons outside.

The pupils will also get to enjoy hands-on cooking lessons from Chefs Adopt a School and have access to food education programmes outside the school, via charity School Food Matters.

In April 2015, Berrymede Primary School in Ealing, London was announced as the first Edible Playground flagship school. In total, the organisations will create ten flagship Edible Playgrounds in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Reading.

Sharon Johnson, Chief Executive of Trees for Cities said, "Edible Playgrounds show children how rewarding it is to spend time outdoors and get them excited about where their food comes from. With 37% of children between ages of 5 and 12 not eating enough every day and 20% obese on leaving primary school, more and more schools are now educating their children on how food is grown and on making healthy eating choices."

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The Edible Gardens program will get students outside to learn about growing and eating healthy food